Prepare for summer journeys
in 30 degree-plus heat and if things are going to fail, it will often be at times like this.
So, when you head out on your great Kiwi road trip this summer, make sure that your car is ready for warmer temperatures.
Some simple steps can help save you time, money and headaches during your trip:
Consider a pre-trip inspection by an Motor Trade Association technician; repairs can be more costly on the road.
Ask them to check things like the air conditioning, cooling system, drive belts, hoses and clamps, brakes, along with fundamentals like fluids, oil and water.
Check the condition and air pressure in all tyres, including the spare, to make sure they are roadworthy. Remember, heat is a tyre’s biggest enemy.
Replace ragged wiper blades and make sure the wash reservoir tank is full and you’ve added proper cleaning agents – not dishwashing liquid.
Make sure your sun visors are doing the job; glare from the sun either directly or from other vehicles can blind you temporarily.
It’s also a good idea to have an emergency kit in your car, just in case you need it. It should include: jumper cables a jack and wheel-brace torch water for both the radiator and yourself ( around two litres) blanket and towel emergency reflectors. Summer is often the time people choose to try the road less travelled.
Enjoy the journey and take time to appreciate New Zealand’s scenery.
Keep in mind, that if you are trying to avoid those queues of fellow holiday makers, the scenic route may not be the quickest, so plan your trip accordingly.
Tips to help avoid becoming drowsy while driving
Take breaks every two hours and if you feel tired, have difficulty focusing or just want to stretch your legs – pull over and have a walk around.
Share the someone.
Passengers can help look out for early warning signs of fatigue.
Take a 15 to 20 minute nap. More than this can make you groggy for at least five minutes after awakening.
Consume the equivalent of two cups of coffee (eg, soft drinks, energy drinks, coffee, tea) but remember that caffeine takes about 30 minutes to enter the bloodstream and will not greatly affect those who regularly consume it.
Don’t drive if you’re sleep deprived, less than six hours sleep can triple your risk of driver fatigue.
Don’t drive when you would normally be asleep, avoid driving through the night.
Over the summer months everyone wants to take advantage of the great weather. This means the roads are busier than ever and therefore drivers need to be even more aware of the risks.
By driving to the conditions, planning your journey and having patience with other road users, everyone can stay safe on the roads this summer.